Awards: NAIBA Book of the Year for Picture Book (2007)
School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2006
A New York Times best seller.
Ms. Merriweather has strict rules in her library. When, a lion saunters into the children’s area he is allowed to stay because after all, there are no rules forbidding lions. After a nap on the pillows, he joins story time, causes quite a commotion, and is spoken to by Ms. Merriweather. With renewed understanding of the rules, the lion becomes a cherished fixture with the children and staff until one day, he must decide between keeping out of trouble and helping a friend the only way he knows how. The themes of friendship and following rules are clearly present and the outcome satisfies.
Keven Hawkes uses acrylic and pencil to complete his drawings. The illustrations work together with the text, endearing us to the lion immediately. Although the lion does not wear clothes nor stand on two feet, he nonetheless displays human body language and feelings. The colours are warm and soft golds, purples and blues, lending a cozy, safe feeling to the library environment. The pictures either share the page with the text on the left, or are vignettes on the right, beginning and ending the book with a double page spread. Expressions and humour are especially well portrayed.